In order to market yourself, you must first know yourself. The job search process is essentially a highly personalized marketing process. The process starts with your candid self-assessment, which allows you to gain a thorough and workable understanding of who you are in product marketing terms. When a Company looks for qualified employees, they seek functional evidence that demonstrates a job seeker’s ability to perform to expectations… JOB REQUIREMENTS represent the HR screening process!
THIS Week’s Session: Thursday, September 27th… Achieving CareerFIT, Taking a look at the “real you” to assist you in making challenging career decisions, then creating your communication strategy to “get the word out.”
Especially if you are starting a resume “from scratch”, or if you are truly unsettled on next steps along your career path, this becomes a necessary first step in the process.
There’s a reason for the ol’ cliche’, Ready-Aim-FIRE! You actually hit more targets. In job search terms, all your preparation and knowledge of the process is close to worthless without the vital AIM which is accomplished through Achieving CareerFIT…
- Employers are looking for applicants who FIT work requirements, so why shouldn’t you be seeking the next appropriate work opportunity? Your value proposition (what YOU offer) needs to be in sync with the employer’s needs.
- If you lack specific and clear career objectives, you WILL conduct a random search!
- Having appropriate offer criteria allows you to research efficiently and ask the right questions during networking and the interview process.
- When your employment ‘fits’ the real you, you are more likely to find your employment more satisfying.
What YOU Do Best, and are motivated to do for a future employer…
What do you do best? What are your strongest transferable skills? Think broadly in terms of managerial and technical/ functional strengths involved in what you have to offer. Discovering your “pattern of success and satisfaction” is your goal, here.
Your ability to express the collection of your functional strengths will measure your marketability. This collection of keywords and their supportive evidence creates your communication strategy, the basis of your value proposition.
NOTE: The old “round peg in a round role” theory of career planning is dysfunctional. In the typical professional environment today, job descriptions are changing faster than ever before to keep up with the challenges of an economy in transition. In the traditional job market, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers. The commodity is JOBs and the competition is fierce.
In The OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process. The commodity is available, productive WORK… When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek. Thus the employer must sell their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot. Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services.
Seize control of such challenges. Understand the nature of FIT.
What is a Good, Career FIT For You? To achieve a good “fit” between you and any future opportunity, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about yourself and your prospective employers. The fit depends on how well the jobs meets your needs and how well your skills and abilities meet the employer’s needs. The employer will make a decision and extend an offer to you: now it is time for you to make your decision.
Write out the factors that are important to you in a job… actually write out your list. During your career transition, learn the value of setting your offer criteria, a key element of your Personal Market Plan:
- Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead;
- Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research (factual information) and networking (more subjective information);
- Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.
Write out the factors that are important to you in a job…actually write out your list. During your career transition, you learn the value of setting your offer criteria.
1. Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead;
2. Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research and networking;
3. Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.
To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept.
- Keep your “offer criteria” in that dynamic state of change that allows you to adapt to market conditions.
- If your current goal is to find a new position, then you should prepare your search as a “business model”, manage it accordingly, be flexible, and be ready for the unexpected.
You understand that managing your own career involves three key ingredients:
- Confidence in knowing that your career is on the right path;
- Continuous research and networking leading to awareness of potential “next steps…” to keep your career moving forward;
- Competency with job-changing skills.
To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept. Consider some of the factors listed below … Examine each factor through the questions listed – and then ask “does this opportunity fit me?”
Work Requirements and Expectations: What is the next appropriate work for you? Is the work process or project oriented? If it’s process oriented, are the requirements and expectations clear? What kinds of projects will you work on? Will you work on one project at a time, or multiple projects? Are the projects long term or short term? Will you work on a project long enough to see the end result? Is it important to you to be able to see the project as a whole, including the result? Or will you be content to do the work without a big picture understanding?
Work Environment: Will the work space be a source of comfort and confidence for you? How formal or informal is the environment? Hectic, fast paced? Will you have the opportunity to have flex time, or to tele-commute? How many hours a week does the employer expect you to work? Will you have the freedom to wear casual clothes? What is a typical day like at the company you are considering? Would they allow a “trial visit” or at least a site visit?
Career Path: Is there a defined succession plan? What position(s) can you move to next? How long do new hires generally stay in the same job? How quickly do people get promoted? Are your opportunities for professional development well defined and available to you? Are mentors available?
Training and Personal Development: what kind of training will you get from the employer to do the job? What kind of training will you get to stay current in your area of interest? Are the answers to these two questions different? Does it matter to you if the answers are different?